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You can't be a vegetarian if you eat any game, fish, poultry whether its once a week or once a month. This fad diet that has evolved in the past couple of months have targeted the idea that you are considered a vegetarian/vegan even if you the smallest amount of meat and/or (cheese,milk, eggs for the vegan).

I don't understand how its justifiable to eat meat once in a while and think that eating this hamburger every so often is just a craving and it's not big deal.

You either are or are not.

Responses (29)

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    Posted by Tatiana at 12/02/08 09:19:17

    Yeah, it's that "flexitarian" thing.

    I read an article that cracked me up that said calling yourself " a little bit vegetarian" is like saying you're "a little bit pregnant", haha.

    I guess I could see someone calling themselves vegetarian/vegan if they were actively working on eliminating their animal product intake, but when someone has the full intention to continue eating those foods, they shouldn't call themselves veg.

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    Posted by HM at 12/02/08 09:48:06

    I remember being 17 and 18, and vegetarian, and finding it odd that other vegetarians were eating cheese or even eggs and what not.
    I used to ask them, "oh, so the cow is a vegetarian so her milk is vegetarian? but what about eggs... THOSE ARE MEAT!!!".
    many years later I learned about veganism.
    I still cringe knowing vegetarians that eat eggs/dairy. Just as cruel and even more so in some cases, then eating meat. And certainly just as bad for you. Women especially... milk is horrible.

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    Posted by Tatiana at 12/02/08 09:59:31

    I think one of the saddest things I've ever seen was the mommy milk cows crying out looking for their babies. In fact, even Anthony Bourdain, avid anti-veg chef, talked about how saddened he was seeing this and how it made him question his diet....too bad it didn't make any difference in how he eats.....

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    Posted by Truly at 12/03/08 07:06:10

    I totally agree. Either you are (veg or vegan), or you aren't. I am supportive of omnivores trying to reduce the amount of meat they consume - I just wouldn't refer to them as "vegetarians" because they do not conform to the definition of a vegetarian.

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    Posted by HM at 12/04/08 03:12:54

    well, vegetarian is vegan.
    Vegan is TRUE vegetarian.
    but then there are the "ovo" "Lacto" vegetarians, which separates them from the standard as well.
    On the journey to eliminate cruelty from one's diet and lifestyle, as well as taking on a pure diet that consists of vegetation which is far better for you when done with knowledge of nutrition, vegetarianism that includes animal product (even non ovo/non lacto but not scrutinized down to the animal products hidden in so many foods) is a stepping stone.

  • auungbong's avatar
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    Posted by auungbong at 12/04/08 08:54:55


    "a little bit pregnant"

    you made my day! haha

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    Posted by kindlizard at 12/04/08 11:22:29

    On the other hand, if it helps someone who is still eating meat to consider him/herself as vegetarian, either as a way to propel one's self to that goal or even if to tell a waiter they crave a meat-free dish, all the better. If someone is willing to forgo a death-based meal, even if one day out their lives, call it whatever you want, as far as I'm concerned.

    Though where I dont appreciate that attitude is when waitstaff believe chicken is vegetarian (and more ~ bacon bits in salads), though over the years we encounter it less, so maybe that is progress too.

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    Posted by HM at 12/04/08 17:05:01

    sorry but I'm going to have to disagree with someone considering themselves vegetarian while still eating meat.
    It's like me calling myself vegan and then eating eggs (eww) or cheese (eeewww).
    Though I wouldn't have called myself much of a vegetarian eating those either.
    Anyway, one could say "I'm working TOWARDS being a vegetarian". But not "I'm a vegetarian" if eating meat at all, or vegan, while eating animal products of any kind.
    It's calling it as it is. Regardless of what is eaten by those around you, animals or partners, you are what you are.
    be real to yourself, for only then can you be what you claim to be.

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    Posted by kindlizard at 12/05/08 14:00:50

    if someone in one meal says hey i'm veggie, and they are willing to forgo death, go for it, i don't care what anyone calls themselves. (i did a vegan TGive at someone's house and I was only vegan there, yet they all did vegan style; if they want to on Tgive consider themselves vegan, go right ahead~~ I guess what I'm saying is the action of it is way more important than the words of it.)

    I AM completely real w myself, and am what I claim to be. The only other person to suggest I wasn't was my aunt who said i was only "vegetarian" to impress girls and I was secretly going to McD's. She is also very heavily medicated.

    I think we are living a lifestyle, but as far as others, they don't live lifestyles, they are not that self-aware. But if they choose to say they are and it leans them in a direction, I'm good w that. I could care less about most people too though, or labels for that matter.

    I dont really disagree w you, just trying to show the other side of the coin. I was going to disagree about eggs being grosser than cheese, but when I though about it, I got really pukey and figured they are both super barf-worthy so why bother debating. Just the idea of ova-eating... but then the idea of lactation-consumption... puke nasty.

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    Posted by dragonfruit at 12/17/08 17:15:08

    OPPS: I'm in BIG trouble!!!!!

    I agree with kindlizzard times 10! I have been a "vegetarian" for nearly forty years... It is NOT an easy lifestyle! It is a saintly one, but not necessarily a functional one... (!)

    Obviously this is a much bigger topic than I can describe with a simple response, but in essence what we have is two entirely different realities taking place simultaneously: The ideal philosophy of eliminating an animal-based food source, juxtaposed (contrasted) with our social evolution and environmental reality... In other words, most strict vegetarians will invariably be required to separate themselves from mainstream lifestyles as a result of their dietary practices...
    You may disagree now, as you adapt/adopt for a year, two--maybe ten... But the reality is if you intend to function like the established "norm"; raise a family, expose yourself to stressful conditions of life through work or craft...., be socially active, etc. sooner or later you will see the separation that exists between yourself and non-vegetarians. It becomes more and more acute with time and age.

    I preface this because... if one eats dairy, eggs, etc. why the purest exclusion of them from the "vegetarian" clan? True vegetarianism is peaceful living through respect for life, all life (including other humans!), the environment, etc. I've raised my boys "vegetarian" from birth..., they influence their friends....slowly. The vegetarian movement has come a long way in 40 years. People thought one would die without meat at that time. Seriously. My first co-op had maybe 10 bulk items... and a "trail mix" was one you made from shelling your own raw peanuts and mixing them with raisins. Yogurt was spelled five different ways and only available in a healthfood (vitamin) store, and the word vegan was one requiring a dictionary... Honestly, I applaud your consciousness and respect for animal welfare... just be please be kindly to those less passionate and ideal as yourself... and keep an open mind.

    Peace, gray

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    Posted by JohnnySensible at 12/17/08 18:50:17

    My 4 points -

    A) I have the greatest respect for anyone who admits to their addictions & takes responsibility for their dietary choices.

    B) Dairy products are especially addictive / hard to stop eating.

    C) Claiming that cow & chicken abuse are somehow virtuous is a game which I find strange.

    D) Websites such as this one which go as far as to call fish abuse / murder "vegetarian" completely gross me out -

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by kindlizard at 12/17/08 21:37:32

    my only point is if some knucklehead says he's vegetarian while at a table of veg food, even if for that one meal, is fine; bc labels mean little and even if for just one meal the knucklehead doesn't kill or eat murdered animals, thats a step and i could care less about if they consider themselves the next day..... essentially, make changes and strides to your friends one meal at a time, inevitably they will feel better than ever and put 2 and 2 together.. the more you feed yer carnivore friends veggies, the less suffering there is... know what i mean?

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    Posted by JohnnySensible at 12/18/08 01:26:20

    My dark confession - after reading this BBC News article a few years ago I quickly decided to live as an "occasional meat eater".

    Excerpt -

    + For every 100 deaths among vegans, there were 66 among vegetarians and 60 among occasional meat eaters. +

    Key dates -

    1960 - pulled grudgingly into the world by forceps.

    1977 - last chewed on a dead animals bottom. bottom chewing incident planned for perhaps the year 2080.
    ".....too young to die" -
    Like Frank Sinatra I still have the forceps scars -

    I am also an unbelievable singer!!

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by Fast Willie Jackson at 04/12/09 12:42:00

    I agree. Being a vegeterian is like being a gangsta: you are one or you ain't. There is no such thing as a part-time gangsta, so therefore, there shouldn't be a part-time vegetarian.

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    Posted by kindlizard at 04/13/09 15:35:39

    Fast Willie, you can be a part time gangsta. With the economy the way it is many crime syndicates are reducing FT to PT work so they don't have to pay health coverage and benefits. On the flip side, you can earn college credits in many cases as PT gangsta.

    If you are one who wants to be called veggie but aren't quite, just keep making strides and call yourself whatever you want. If its a goal it will happen and verbalizing it as such is a great way to keep it in mind and becoming reality, just keep making strides. Educate yourself and act daily, make plant-based decisions as often as you can until it becomes second nature.

    Veg Pride!!!

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    Posted by Fast Willie Jackson at 04/13/09 16:56:48

    Kindlizard, you speak wise words. I have a long way to go.

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    Posted by ThunderHeart at 10/20/09 16:45:16

    I'm a vegetarian. I never eat any meat or fowl or fish. What do I care that people call themselves vegetarians and then eat a burger once in awhile. It has nothing to do with me. I don't do it. It's the same as people who don't eat any pork for religious reasons and then once in a while they have a BLT. What do I care? As long as I don't do it. I am not holier than thou and I'm certainly not the food police. There are a lot of things I worry about, but whether or not some one is calling themselves a vegetarian and then eating meat is not one of them.

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    Posted by Ivo at 10/30/09 12:18:14

    In my country/language, we have a word for the “meat/fish/poultry-eating vegetarians” that roughly translates to “pseudo-vegetarian” or “fake vegetarian”.
    And to consider them vegetarian would be the same as if a smoker considers himself a non-smoker between two cigarettes...! ;-)

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    Posted by AshPaz at 10/30/09 18:02:16

    I totally agree its just a craving or something! i really think its because of all the commercials they show on tv about junk food and meat, they brain wash u! at least thats what their trying to do...
    I'm vegetarian by the way...

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    Posted by Randiberto at 10/30/09 21:46:49

    I chose not to eat anything with cholesterol. Call me any name that you chose. I like healthy.

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    Posted by jennybe at 10/30/09 22:26:46

    Many mainstream medical authorities are advocating a vegetarian diet (yay, finally!!)--like Dr. Ornish, Dr. Fuhrman--maybe we should come up with a snazzy new word for someone who strives to eliminate all animal products from their diet/lives, but is somewhere between vegetarian and vegan. Any ideas clever ones?

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by aram at 10/31/09 06:13:04

    If one eats any animal product--that means eggs, milk or cheese (liquid meat), one is directly supporting the meat industry. A cow must be kept pregnant to produce milk. Her calf then becomes the veal calf prized by carnivores. The hen that lays those so called "free-range, organic" eggs still ends up as low grade pet food when she no longer lays. Don't kid yourself--"free-range" is a misnomer--do your homework. Don't know how anyone can defend eating dairy or egg products and call themselves vegetarian.

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    Posted by Sonja and Dirk at 10/31/09 11:07:26

    I like Ivo's smoking comparison. ;-) Personally, I just want the words to represent what they actually mean. When people who aren't vegetarian/vegan call themselves that, they create misperceptions that I, as a vegan, then have to deal with. How many times have all of us said we are vegan, eat no animal products, and then get asked, "but you eat fish, right?" NO! So many people think vegetarians eat fish because they have a vegetarian friend who does. I tell them that's not vegetarian, much less vegan. The mainstream population still needs lots of education on veganism and what that entails. Having someone call themselves that without really being that dilutes the term IMHO. As noted in the posts above, people can work towards becoming vegan and can order such at restaurants without explaining their lifestyle, but shouldn't tell people they actually are vegans if they're not.

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    Posted by shearwater at 11/01/09 10:41:51

    I agree - if you're not veggie don't call yourself veggie. You may be "mostly veggie" "almost veggie" or "wannabe veggie" but you're not veggie.

    But at the same time this trend is also a good sign. Once treated like bleeding heart, health ignorant lepers veggies are becoming cool. The health benefits and animal cruelty issues are more well known. Our numbers (true vegans & vegetarians) over the past decade have jumped incredibly. People want to be part of our movement even if they are unable or lack the strength to commit totally.

    By the way, it was Linda McCartney in one of her early veggie cookbooks that said being a fish-eating vegetarian is like being a little bit pregnant.

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    Posted by earthdave at 11/02/09 04:35:14

    I've just come from a Vegetarian Congress in Ghana, West Africa. No one was quizzed on whether they ate fish or occasional meat. The bottom line is that people who self-identify (for whatever reason) as vegetarian will end up being positioned to hear and learn more, and probably move towards a diet completely free from animal products.

    I've been an ovolactovegetarian for 23 years, and then went vegan about 8 years ago. Recently, due to where I was located, I have eaten products with traces of dairy or eggs. Not a slab of cheese or a piece of quiche, but some butter in a baked good or stuff like that. How does it help to have the 'vegan police' come down on me and say 'you're not a real vegan, stop calling yourself that!'
    Why? Because I am not pure enough? Because I don't suffer quite enough? I have educated audiences all over on the environmental costs of animal products and been the most obvious vegetarian/vegan in workplaces and social circles, influencing others with great-tasting food and persuasive facts. Why does someone else have to jump in and criticize me or anyone else on the label they choose to use? If it is the most accurate label, for others to not offer meat or eggs or cheese, then let them use it! Is it some sort of proprietary thing? I own this label and you have to meet my high standards to be part of this exclusive club?
    This sort of nitpicking is not educational, it's just confrontational and often offensive.
    I have known the most committed activists for animals who drive more people away from our movement than they attract, with this kind of purist approach.
    Let's accept that everyone is somewhere on that path towards sparing animals, some just have further to go. And they won't be pushed.

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    Posted by shearwater at 11/02/09 09:00:20

    I was vegetarian before becoming vegan. Vegetarians are great! As I've said in other forum posts we're all on different points of our own paths. At least we're all heading in the same direction. The discussion here was not about policing anyone, just the misuse of terms that already have definite definitions and how their misuse confuses non-veggies. If you walk like a duck and talk like a duck but every duck season you tell hunters you're a rabbit - well, you still better duck when they raise their guns.

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    Posted by pixiechz at 11/02/09 10:49:41

    "He don't eat no meat!?! That's okay. I make lamb."

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    Posted by Hannah Banana at 07/12/10 09:42:49

    I agree with Sonia and Dirk,
    I don't really mind what people want to do with their own diets, everyone has to decide what moral decisions they can or can't live with, the only issue arises when I constantly have to explain to people that NO I do not eat fish because I am a vegetarian and vegetarians do not eat fish as fish are not vegetables ;) you know what I mean. It's a pain because of the number of times when people have just assumed that I would eat fish, when the over exploitation of fish stocks and the unsustainable nature of fishing and fish farms are the very reason that I first stopped eating meat!

    An increased public awareness and understanding of vegetarian and vegan diets would make such a difference, but I guess that life is never that easy!

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    Posted by Chia at 07/14/10 15:22:48

    auungbong, being "vegetarian" or "vegan" is a personal choice, and these names are simply labels. Being so rigid about it just creates more feelings of division, ie. "I am and you're not!" So what?

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